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Picture this. Having heard folk rave so much about blueberries, you have been waiting for some in a can . Santa warns that you may not exactly fall in love with them, but you believe it should be fairly good. You have decided on the recipe, you just need those berries. Finally they arrive, yaay! You eagerly open the can, expecting tart-sweet, plump fruit. But wait, errr...umm...well, can't decide if this tastes like berries people rave about or something fruity, squishy, reminiscent of, hate to say, calpol syrup? How thoughtless of me to say that! May be calpol in an exciting new fruity flavor? There came crashing down my dreams of baking that moist lime and blueberry cake, wiping out all visions of the blue stained lovely cake it would make. Sob! Don't know if its the berries or me, it was a sad story!
But then, since I had set my mind on that citrus yogurt cake on Smitten Kitchen, yes, the third or fourth yogurt cake here, I had to bake it. Another matter that I had little time or energy to bake anything which would take more than an hour and half at the most, for the prep, baking, pics and all. These whisk and bake, moist little cakes made with olive oil, lots of yogurt, baked and drenched in hot syrup make delicious warm treats on the fast track if you ever fancy syrup cakes on a whim. Just the recipe I needed, even without the berries. Isn't it great to have one for syrup cakes made with oil? Eat them warm, plump with the syrup, they really are at their best then, may be with some vanilla ice cream if you want dessert.
This recipe is quite similar to Dorie Greenspan's EVOO Yogurt cake, but has more yogurt in it, making it more moist. Apart from citrus syrup cakes, you could do more with this recipe as Deb very helpfully suggests. Fold in your favorite berries ( I will get there one day!) or bake coconut topped lime cakes using coconut oil in place of the olive oil, orange chocolate chunk or citrus poppy seed cake or one with sliced almonds added in.
You can find the recipe here, original recipe from Ina Garten. I have halved the recipe, which made 7 mini bundts and one slightly bigger one. You could use your muffin tray, the baking time would vary depending on the size. If making the full recipe, bake in an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan for about 50 minutes as Deb does.
All-purpose flour - 195 grams
Baking powder - 2 teaspoons (aluminum free like Rumford will be great)
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
Whole-milk yogurt - 240 ml / 1 cup
Sugar, granulated - 200 grams / 1 cup ( I have weighed and powdered)
Eggs - 144 grams / 3 large
Freshly grated citrus zest - 2 teaspoons
Pure vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Olive Oil (or vegetable oil )- 120 ml / 1/2 cup
(Please note, use the freshest oranges /limes you can find and zest with a citrus zester for maximum citrus zing. You may otherwise find the cake lacking flavor)
For the syrup (alter according to how tart or sweet you want the cake to be, better to have more syrup on hand than less. If making orange syrup cakes, you will need to use more juice, lesser sugar, lesser water). This is for half the recipe.
Lime juice - 1 tablespoon
Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Water - 3 tablespoons
- Pre heat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F. Spray your loaf tin or mini bundt pan. My mini bundt pan is about 5 tablespoons capacity per cup. You could also bake in a muffin tin of 1/4 cup / 60 ml capacity.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, zest (ensure no lumps), vanilla, yogurt and the eggs.
- Whisk just enough to combine, no need to work up a volume. Whisk in the flour mixture gently (in 2 additions) but thoroughly. If adding berries or nuts, toss them in a teaspoon of flour, fold them in once the dry ingredients are almost combined.
- Fill the mini bundt pan using a cookie scoop, the batter coming half way up. Bake for about 14-15 minutes in the mini bundt pan, (9-10 minutes in the muffin tin, 50 minutes in the loaf pan) or till a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Be careful to not over bake.
- Cool the bundts for 2-3 minutes in the pan, (if baking in a loaf pan, cool the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes) then turn out on a rack. Place a baking sheet underneath to catch the drips.
- While the cake is baking, combine the ingredients for the syrup in a saucepan. Heat till the sugar dissolves.
- You could prick the cakes with a toothpick all over. Brush the hot syrup on the cakes. Serve the mini cakes slightly warm or at room temperature.
I loved these baked in my mini bundt pan, best warm! If you love citrus syrup cakes, don't let butter or the fear of creaming stop you. Try these!